Derek Parr, FINA Media Committee Member from Great Britain

World champions Chen Aisen and Lin Yue notched China’s fourth successive Olympic victory in the men’s synchronised platform and made it two titles out of two so far contested in the Rio Games at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, dominating proceedings from start to finish on Monday.

After Chinese team-mates Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao had scored a runaway win by more than 30 points in the women’s 3m synchronised event the previous day, Chen and Lin excelled by almost 40 points, Lin sharing the Olympic title for the second time, having won the event at the 2008 Games in Beijing with Huo Liang.

Chinese pair took 10m synchro gold

David Boudia, the 2012 individual 10m Olympic champion, and Steele Johnson held solid second place for the USA throughout the six-dive competition and claimed the silver, while Britons Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow prevailed in the battle for bronze, Daley matching the Olympic bronze he struck in the individual platform in front of a home crowd in 2012.

Chen and Lin, World Cup winners in the same Rio pool earlier this year, took charge from the start under grey skies in the open-air pool and on their majestic march to gold they amassed five perfect 10 scores – one in the second round, one in the third and three for a magnificent forward 4-1/2 somersaults in the fifth which earned an astronomical 106.56 points.

Boudia, bronze medallist in the 10m synchro with Nick McCrory in 2012, moved up to silver with Johnson, their delighted embrace on knowing they had secured a medal, matched by that of Daley and Goodfellow, in which the British pair ended up falling back into the water in their excitement at having clinched the bronze with the very last dive of the competition.

USA

Daley and Goodfellow had entered the last round leading 2008 Olympic silver medallists Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein, the 2013 world champions, by less than three points and knew they had no room for error after their vastly experienced German rivals, who won their ninth successive European 10m synchro title in London in May, had finished their programme.

Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow of GBR took bronze

Daley, frustratingly just outside the Olympic 10m synchro medals in fourth place with Pete Waterfield at London 2012, consigned that disappointment emphatically to the past as he and Goodfellow made a good job of their concluding back 3-1/2 somersaults.

Mexico’s Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez, silver medallists at both the last Olympics and the 2015 FINA World Championships, hazarded the toughest dives of the competition but failed to nail them as they would have hoped and had dropped out of medal contention before the end.

Chen and Lin amassed 496.98 points from their six dives for China’s gold, Boudia and Johnson 457.11 for the US silver and Daley and Goodfellow 444.45 for the British bronze. Hausding and Klein, who beat China’s 2012 Olympic champions Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan to win the 2013 world title, had to settle for fourth on 438.42, with Garcia and Sanchez fifth on 423.30.

QUOTES

Aisen Chen (CHN), gold, men’s 10m synchro:

“I am very excited about this medal. These are my first Games; it’s my goal since childhood and winning this gold medal today is a real dream.”

“My partner is more like a big brother for me. When I feel some difficulties or I am more stressed, he gives me some comfort and provides me additional confidence and motivation.”

Yue Lin (CHN), gold, men’s 10m synchro:

“I experienced many ups and downs since 2008.Over all these years, I understand how small I am within the entire Chinese team and this always pushed me to do better.”

David Boudia (USA), silver, men’s 10m synchro:

“After London 2012, I had a though 4 years. Steele (Johnson) has played a very important role in my decision to continue. He is constantly putting some fire on me and he is a true brother in my life.”

Tom Daley (GBR), bronze, men’s 10m synchro:

“After this event, I’ll be moving from the Village for five days, trying to be a bit away in order to rest my body and mind. I will continue to train here and I’ll be back in the Village three or four days before my (individual 10m) event.”

“About diving outdoors, you have to be ready for everything, knowing that everyone is having the same conditions. It was a bit windy, but in the end everything went fine.”
Going into the final round, we knew that we had to do a very solid last dive. After doing it, the wait for the scores to come out was an eternity.”

“I believe we are both very happy with our performance. We are diving together only since October and it has proven successful. We knew we could earn a medal. To come away with another medal, and make it with a very solid partner is a real pleasure.”

“The Chinese success? Well, having already 1.3 billion population really helps. Also, they have a great supporting team and this great spirit definitively helps a lot. These guys are technically very good and they are amazing to watch. But they are beatable, we just have to do it on the day.”